Yemen in Conflict

Yemen in Conflict

Since 2019 the Centre for New and International Writing has been working in close collaboration with the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and colleagues at the University of Leeds to explore ways of protecting and preserving popular literature in Yemen.

Our British Academy-funded multidisciplinary project, ‘Yemen in Conflict’ looked at how traditional and new popular literature could be protected for the long term, bringing together artists and writers from Yemen and the UK to bring new perspectives to the current and increasingly grave situation in Yemen.

Oral poems and stories that addressed themes of conflict and resolution were gathered into an archive, transcribed and translated. Then, through a series of workshops and commissions, we created a series of national workshops to bring members of the UK Yemeni communities together to read, write and perform poems. Some of the poems from the workshops were then translated into English, Arabic and Mehri and transformed in turn into four short films by young artists. The project now has further funding from Arts Council England to continue its work across the UK, using poetry as a space to bring together diasporic Yemeni communities in the UK. The project continues to ask how storytelling and poetry can be preserved and disseminated, and also how it might play a role in conflict resolution. The project also continues to explore how sharing poems and stories can heighten and enhance the political and public awareness of the situation in Yemen.

For full details of the project and to see the films please follow this link

Researcher: Deryn Rees-Jones

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